Community, officials pay respects to Suwannee Fire Rescue Chief

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 13, 2019

SUWANNEE COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tuesday was an emotional day in Suwannee County as the community said goodbye to a local hero.

Suwannee Fire Rescue Chief James Sommers was killed in a motorcycle accident last week and on Tuesday, miles of flashing lights paid him tribute, as emergency personnel from all across the region paid their respects.

Police officers, Sheriff's Deputies, fire trucks and EMT personnel stretched as far as the eye could see, showing the impact Sommers had on the community and the legacy that remains.

Sommers served more than two decades in public service: 19 years as a fire fighter and seven as Public Safety Director.

Many people described him as someone that loved saving people and helping others.

Seeing so many departments and emergency personnel at his remembrance, Sommers' family says it really shows what he meant to the community.

"Respect," said his brother, Ed Sommers. "I truly believe that the community had great respect for my brother, and he was a great chief for this community."

Ed says the one thing he wants people to know about his brother is that he would have given the shirt off his back for anyone.

He adds he left his mark on the fire department and he'll be very missed.